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Funding is in place to allocate further clinical nurse specialist (CNS) posts in hospital emergency departments (EDs) in order to allow CNSs to operate from 8am to 8pm. Currently, 35 CNSs are in place.
Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Anne Jeffers, National Clinical Lead for the Programme, explained to the Medical Independent (MI) that a review of the service in 2016 highlighted the need for an extra 12 posts to fulfil this requirement.
The HSE’s Mental Health Division, it is understood, has accepted the need for more posts but there is no final figure yet on the number of posts that will be advertised.
“The funding has been prioritised for the three Dublin children hospitals and then three of the busier services we’ve identified; they’ll be the first to get the posts and we’ll hopefully be advertising for those over the coming weeks,” Dr Jeffers said.
There are also plans to fund posts to allow for extra sessions for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) teams in Galway, Cork and Limerick.
Dr Jeffers said that discussions around the creation of these posts were continuing but it is hoped the extra sessions would be provided in the coming months.
Meanwhile, a research group within the Programme to improve data collection and analysis has been established, Dr Jeffers said.